Five Qualifications to Assist Parents

God's plan for both the procreation and education of children is that it be carried out by parents for the purpose of growth in love and holiness. In some cases, parents may feel they are unqualified or unprepared to educate and form their own children in chastity. Situations like this occur primarily because parents do not know their rights, duties, and responsibilities as primary educators; underestimate their gifts, or do not develop their God-given abilities.

In exceptional cases, parents may actually be morally or physically incapable of carrying out their duties. As a result, there may be times when outside assistance is needed in specific cases.

In the area of chastity formation, the Church clearly teaches that there is no substitute for parents as educators within the family. However, there may be times when outside assistance is needed in specific cases. When parents do choose to allow others to assist them in the education of their children, the Church says it is the parents' obligation to be sure that those who assist possess the following qualifications:

1. Be prepared and disposed to teach the full Catholic truth;

2. Be mature, moral, and faithful to their vocation;

3. Know and respect the rights of parents as primary educators;

4. Know and practice the moral teachings of the Church on sexuality and chastity;

5. Assist the children in the spirit of the father and mother (Cf. TMHS, 146).